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Jessica Sowa (left) and Kimberley Isett.
By Crystal Nielsen
Perspectives on Public Management and Governance (PPMG), the premier theory journal in the public affairs space and a publication of the Public Management Research Association (PMRA), has new leadership starting June 2022. Kimberley Isett, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration associate dean of research and director of the Master of Public Health in health policy and management program, and Jessica E. Sowa, Biden School professor, now jointly serve as editors in chief for the publication.
Isett and Sowa bring a wealth of research and editorial experience to their new roles. In a report to the PMRA board, the hiring committee shared that “both members of the editorial team are senior scholars with significant editorial experience. Both have produced theoretical scholarship, and together, they have a breadth of scholarly expertise. These qualities make them a solid fit for the editor position at PPMG."
Isett and Sowa shared their vision for the future of the journal and what they hope to accomplish in their five-year tenure as editors in chief at the recent Public Management Research Conference in Arizona.
“We are really hoping to push the boundaries of our theoretical foundations over the next five years. We are looking to fundamentally question our theoretical roots and see which theories hold up and which need to be updated," Isett said of the new leadership duo's goals.
PPMG plays a critical role in public affairs research, and this editorial team will help shape its future impact.
“PPMG is only one of two journals in the field that is dedicated explicitly to theory development. It provides an important outlet for the conceptual development of ideas that help us to better understand how the world of public management and governance works," Sowa said. “We are thrilled to play a part in nurturing this dialogue."
Kimberley Roussin Isett earned a Ph.D. (Management, Organization theory) and MPA (health and human services, policy) from the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management. Her research focuses on institutional pressures and dynamics in implementing government services, with a particular interest in the delivery of services to vulnerable populations and the use of evidence in public decision-making. Her goal is to conduct research that helps government organizations find their optimal system design relative to their political, policy, regulatory and financial constraints.
To date, Isett has been the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on grants totaling over $14MM. She has been recognized by the Academy of Management for excellence in research and participated in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Mental Health Policy Research Network (2002-2008). In 2020, she was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Isett has worked with elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government on a variety of issues. Prior to joining the Biden School, Isett served as a faculty member at Georgia Tech, Columbia University and Texas A&M University, and she completed a National Institute of Mental Health-sponsoredpostdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.
Jessica Sowa received her Ph.D. in Public Administration in 2003 from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on public and nonprofit management, with an emphasis on the management of human resources (HRM) in public and nonprofit organizations, organizational effectiveness and collaboration.Sowa's work has been published in a number of public and nonprofit journals, including Public Administration Review, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Policy Studies Journal, Public Performance and Management Review, Administration and Society, Public Personnel Management, American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly and the Review of Public Personnel Administration. With Jessica Word, she is the editor of The Nonprofit Human Resource Management Handbook: From Theory to Practice (CRC Press/Routledge), which won the 2019 Best Book Award from the Section on Personnel Administration and Labor Relations (SPALR), American Society for Public Administration. With Jone Pearce, she is the author of Organizational Behavior: Real Research for Public and Nonprofit Managers (Melvin and Leigh Publishers). With Mary Guy, she is the author of Human Resource Essentials for Public Service: People, Process, Performance (Melvin and Leigh Publishers).
Sowa's current projects include an edited volume on the stories of public servants and research on public leadership, executive succession in nonprofit organizations, volunteer management in fire departments and HRM in local government. She serves on the editorial board of a number of journals in public administration and public HRM. She is also the editor in chief of the Review of Public Personnel Administration.
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